“Certain things, words simply cannot describe,” says Sandro Kereselidze. “They must be seen and experienced.” Such visceral logic may explain the explosive success of Artechouse, an immersive digital art space dedicated to preeminent new-media artists whose work incorporates the latest scientific and technological innovations.
Artechouse satisfies a major niche that ordinary white-cube galleries and museums have traditionally failed to address. “Digital artists are struggling to find exhibition spaces,” says Kereselidze. “Without specific technology, they’re left with limited means of engaging the public, which seems to be increasingly interested in this type of artwork.” The numbers don’t lie: Since Kereselidze and partner Tati Pastukhova launched the gallery’s first outpost in Washington, DC, in 2017, and opening a Miami location the following year, Artechouse has attracted nearly 500,000 visitors and mounted immersive exhibitions by Nonotak, Julius Horsthuis, and Marpi.
The gallery is inaugurating a permanent space in a historic nook of New York City. Occupying the previously uncharted 6,000-square-foot boiler room beneath Chelsea Market’s main concourse, Artechouse is putting the world’s foremost digital projection capabilities on full display. “It’ll be the first art space to integrate L-ISA Immersive Hyperreal Sound technology with 32 separate channels for an entirely multidimensional audio experience,” says Kereselidze. The gallery will also feature the world’s largest seamless megapixel count with Barco-powered technology that will bring floor-to-ceiling digital environments to life in the widest possible color spectrum. In layman’s terms: These will be radiant, room-wrapping displays by the digital art vanguard in vivid, retina-widening detail.
Kicking off the program is Turkish artist Refik Anadol, who recently wrapped up a career-defining retrospective at the gallery’s Washington outpost. He now unveils Machine Hallucation, a never-before-seen synesthetic reality experiment that challenges spatial perceptions by recasting more than three million 3-D images of New York City architecture in an entirely new dimension. Machine Hallucation sheds light on the connections we unknowingly forge between moments within Manhattan’s distinctive building culture and history. “It offers a glimpse into the future of architecture itself,” says Anadol, whose previous site-specific digital projects have never utilized technology of this scale and caliber.
Hallucinatory visuals, sure to be a hit among the Instagram crowd, only scratch the surface of what Artechouse offers. “Hopefully, visitors will leave with a new understanding of this emerging medium, as well as the tools these artists harness to creatively reflect on our current era,” says Kereselidze. Moreover, the gallery will also serve AR-activated drinks that enhance the entire experience. “We hope everyone will try one!”
Artechouse opens on Sept. 6 and is located at 439 W 15th Street, New York City.